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Monday, 20 October 2008

Why I can't mention the restaurant called 'Ask'

So, I move to the Midlands from the South of England, and my sister (uses the short 'a' for grass, pass and bath) thinks it most amusing that the road I'm now living in (I, having been in the South for twenty-five years, use the long 'a' for grarss, parss and barth) is called 'Grassington Avenue'. "You can't even say it properly," she guffaws. "It's so ironic. Say it again, say it again." And so I have to repeat 'Grarsington, Grarsington' just for her amusement. She doesn't have a lot else to do, poor thing.

So now I have to call my road Gramaundington Avenue.

It's all because, one day, staying at her flat, I asked her where she'd like me to put the washing. "Shall I put it in the washing barsket?" I asked. She could barely reply, doubled up as she was. I waited patiently for a coherent reply, but it never came.

Later that day, I was studying some Shakespeare, and found that an Early Modern English word for 'basket' was 'maund'. An instant solution! I suggested to her that we call the basket/barsket a maund instead. The next logical step (logic has many forms; don't judge us too harshly) was to call every single word or part of word that we disagreed on a 'maund'.

So, now, a sentence such as 'shall we go up the town on the bus for a cup of tea and a currant bun?' becomes 'shall we go maund the town on the maund for a maund of tea and a maundant maund?' And, therefore, Grassington Avenue gets the same treatment.

It's all my maund, of course (forlt/folt) for moving South and what has come to maund (pars/pass) in terms of her maunding (larfing/laffing) at me was surely to be expected. I have to say, I was hoping for more compassion from a close blood relative while I adjusted to life in the Midlands, but it seems that's too much to maund.

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